Fourth Grade Voting Rights Project
Ms. Tieger’s fourth grade classroom is adorned with bright decorations and color-splashed desks. It is a warm space in which to learn. Among the posters and chart paper containing promises for the year ahead is a sign that reads, “Please Vote On the 3rd” and an array of Time for Kids magazine covers related to social justice and the United States government. Most days, you can walk by and see an interactive 2020 Electoral Map on the SmartBoard with its red-to-blue gradient.
In the weeks leading up to Election Day, Ms. Tieger designed a project centered around the history of voting rights in the United States to encourage her students to better understand the power of a vote.
“Students are learning how important it is to exercise your right to vote, especially when so many have been denied the right for so long—and many still are,” shares Ms. Tieger. “We identified and explored which groups have always had the right to vote, as well as groups that have had to fight for the same right.”
As a way to synthesize their findings, they created a digital timeline beginning in 1789 when only 6% of Americans could vote—white, Christian, land-owning men who were over the age of 21. The timeline progresses and captures important milestones and modifications to the United States voting system up through this year’s election.
What do Ms. Tieger’s students want you to learn from their digital timeline? They explain, “It is our hope that we will encourage everyone who can to vote on or before November 3rd because so many people had to fight for this important right.”